The American National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) has been conducting medium and long-term studies on getting humanity to the Moon recently. The next step of the agency, which wants to make a crewed landing on the Moon with the Artemis project, is to realize permanent projects. NASA is trying to find a permanent solution to the food problem, which is one of the biggest obstacles to this.
Regolith will be processed with a mechanical separation system to grow food on the moon
NASA is already laying the groundwork for permanent projects on the Moon. However, taking the astronauts’ food needs from Earth is not a permanent solution. So much so that it will take up a lot of space in the outgoing spacecraft and will not be a solution for projects that last for months.
NASA, the European Space Agency (ESA) and the space company Solsys Mining are joining forces to build the system needed to grow food on the Moon. The project will be carried out on the regolith, the soil of the Moon. On the other hand, regolith will be passed through a special mechanical separation system, since it has a bacteria-free structure.
Malgorzata Holynska, a materials and process engineer at ESA, said:
This work is crucial for future long-term Moon exploration. Achieving a sustainable presence on the Moon will involve using local resources and accessing the nutrients found in the lunar regolith, which has the potential to help grow crops.
The regolith, which does not contain bacteria or other living matter, contains very little nitrogen. In addition, it does not show a similar reaction to water and soil. With Regolith processing, it is expected to create a suitable environment for some plants that are likely to grow on it. So much so that the researchers managed to grow a durable plant called Arabidopsis thaliana on this soil.